POPULAR author Michelle Paver ended a two-week tour on a high with a visit to Shoreham Academy.
The writer of adventure stories said the students, which included visitors from other schools in Shoreham and Worthing, had been extremely attentive and asked good questions.
She gave a talk about her new Gods and Warriors series and showed some of the artefacts she had collected while travelling to research her epic adventure stories.
Michelle said: “There were some definite huge fans, quite a few of them produced the entire series from their rucksacks.
“Some were new to the series altogether.
“They listened so well and really with attention. You can always tell because of the questions. There were some fantastic questions, quite a lot of them about writing, how you structure a story, and some really thoughtful questions about writing.”
She showed the students pages from the manuscript, which was all handwritten to begin with.
“It is good for them to see how it all starts and no-one gets it right first time, so there are lots of crossings out,” Michelle explained.
Her previous series, The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, featured wolves, and animals also play a part in the new series.
The first book, The Outsiders has a dolphin, and part of the story is told from his point of view, while The Burning Shadow has a lion cub and the third book, which is still being written, will have a falcon.
Michelle said: “These three animals will be coming up in the rest of the stories.
“I want to make them realistic animals. I swam with wild dolphins and I have met lion cubs.
“One of the best bits is going on trips for research. I always go on my own. It is not to cram the book full of facts, it is to bring it alive.”
The importance of the animals seeming real came across in an interview with Academy student Lily Harrington-Lowe, which she did for the school newspaper.
Michelle said she was impressed with the questions Lily asked and her knowledge of the books.
Lily said: “I did some research. I have read all of her wolf series. I really enjoyed them. It really helped to visualise the animals.”
She said she had really been able to get the feel for the animals in the stories.